Child Abuse in the Name of Discipline
Posted by Darlene
OK, this post will be completely unedited and won’t say nearly as much as I need to – I am pretty sure about that. I saw the above video on a friends wall and was outraged at what I observed as I watched the video.
And in case you are wondering why I refer to what takes place in the video as Child Abuse. Here’s why:
– The father swears at his child
– The father never looks the child in the eye, rather he stands over him & talks over/behind him
– The father shaves the boys head in an obscene manner to embarrass him and even shaves off his eyebrows
– The father subjects his son to public humiliation by sending him to school with his eyebrows removed
– The father seems supportive of the grandparent sending the child to school looking ragged as punishment for bad behavior
– The father does all of this in addition to whipping his son with a belt
And yet as I write expressing my disapproval, I already know that many will disagree with me and give a hearty “amen, do what you got to do to keep your kids out of jail” in response to the video. The truth is that the high prison rate in the African American community and high criminal behavior is carried out by some of those same kids who grew up having the life beat out of them. OK, I have more to say, but I read a friend’s response to the video and as a parent I think she says it better than I can say it in this place of utter outrage that I feel after watching the “father” in the video. Here is what she says:
I think this is ridiculous!!! It is one thing to discipline your children…and I believe in discipline. It is another thing to humiliate and embarrass your children!!! We are called to discipline our children but this was cruel and unusual punishment. My husband and I have never had to “whip” our children (masters whip slaves to get them to obey). Parents do not whip their kids to get them to obey. However, we do discipline our children and we use a number of ways to teach them right from wrong without having to beat them with belts. Belts are used for holding up your parents, not for beating your most prized possession. And…you can tell from the video that it is not working. He beat him on Monday…and he did it again. I was whipped as a child and the only thing it taught me was to be sneaky and do a better job at not getting caught. It did not teach me to change my behavior. It is time for our community to renew our mind and get rid of the slave mentality and beating our children. My kids are phenomenal. The are A students. My daughter plays the viola; my son plays the cello. They play tennis and do martial arts. I homeschool and both my husband and I are actively involved in the lives on our children. There is a reason why this boy is acting out…and beating his a$$ is not getting down to the root of the problem. I know a number of black men in prison right now…and it is not because they didn’t get beat when they were kids!!! Something is missing in the father/son relationship.
And for all you Bible quoting…wanna be scholars…spare the rod spoil the child is not a commandment from God nor does it give you the right to beat your kids until you are tired!!! The Bible says…”He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” The Hebrew word for rod means that of a scepter or staff and it represents authority!! It tells us that as fathers we are called to exercise parental authority over our children and that if we love them diligently we should instruct and correct them. We are called to instruct and train our children…not to beat them. Our heavenly Father does not beat us into submission; he does not beat us as a form of correction. He loves us (His love covers a multitude of our sin; His love draws us into obedience). In the O.T. the shepherd would not beat the sheep. He would use his rod to drive out the wolves. The rod is not to beat our children. It is a symbol of authority and leadership.
This father does not know how to be a father to his son, and that is sad. This video and the words used in addressing his son will not make him a better man. This entire thread makes me sick to my stomach!!! And…I BET HE ABSOLUTELY WILL DO IT AGAIN…AND MORE!!!!
The statement above are uttered from an African American parent, who is also a pastor, raising three young children in an urban area. Though she does not use the tactics used by the “gentleman” in the video nor does she use the discipline techniques used by her parents or many parents – particularly within the African American community – her children are turning out alright, they are well behaved, excelling academically and respect their parents (not because they were beat into submission, but because their parents were wise enough to realize that there are a multiple ways of disciplining your children when they misbehave.
Some of what I believe we need to learn about discipline is:
1. Discipline does not = Beating with a Belt or Switch
2. Discipline takes on many forms and should be done with specific purposes/goals in mind
3. Discipline should not be practiced for the sake of dominating and embarrassing children
4. Discipline is designed to direct children in the way they should live and behave
5. A careful study, not a mere quoting or misquoting of Proverbs 13:24 should take place (I would love some folks to join me in that study)
6. Just because your parents practices worked for you doesn’t mean that if applied to your children will also work well for them. EVERY child is different and one sized fits all forms of discipline is NOT effective and will not produce the desired results
7. If discipline is carried out when a parent is angry and out of control it is more harmful than helpful
That’s all for now. What would you add to the list?
Photo Credit: Photo is from V103 Chicago Buzz Report